Chapter

Strategy, Operations, and Tactics in the Second Seminole War, 1835–1842

Joe Knetsch

in America's Hundred Years' War

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035253
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813035253.003.0006
Strategy, Operations, and Tactics in the Second Seminole War, 1835–1842

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This chapter focuses on the Second Seminole War. It reviews the rather deplorable conduct of the war by the United States, and, in so doing, raises questions about the lessons learned, if any, from this bloody confrontation. The United States was undoubtedly and completely unprepared for the conflict in Florida erupting in late 1835. Numerous factors provided little chance for a quick victory over the Seminole—a retrenchment-minded Congress drastically reducing military funding, a strategy and tactics that followed European-style fighting, a pervasive distrust of a professional military dominating the mind-set of Jacksonian Americans, a defective supply system, outright ignorance of guerilla warfare, waning national interest in the conflict after 1836, and conspicuous and rampant disagreement between state authorities and the federal government, and between the army and those in Washington, over the direction of the war.

Keywords: Second Seminole War; United States; Congress; military funding; war strategy; guerilla warfare

Chapter.  12199 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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